Having appropriate home insurance coverage is critical for your protection in the unfortunate event that something happens to your valuables, but what is the best and easiest way to document your possessions?
When you have an insurance claim, insurance companies will often ask for copies of receipts or pictures of the items lost as proof that you actually had them in the first place.
Taking a photo inventory is an excellent way to show that you had the items and the condition they were in prior to the loss. It can also be a great way to determine if you have adequate insurance coverage.
Here are some tips to help you take your own photo inventory:
- Use a color camera with a flash, video camera, or a digital camera
- Label the photos and videotapes with the dates they were taken
- Place a card with the purchase price and date of purchase next to the items
in the photo
- Save the images to a CD and make a couple of copies, storing one or printed
pictures in your safety deposit box or with a relative. You don't want the only
copy of your inventory damaged in the event of a fire
- Focus your flash away from mirrors and other reflective surfaces, including
opening glass doors to prevent reflections, and angle the flash to avoid glare
when photographing jewelry
- Include a family member in the picture to help substantiate
- Open closet doors to show the amount of clothing you own
- Take pictures of the insides of drawers with the contents fanned out
- Use a dark cloth as a background for silver, china or jewelry
- When photographing china, take a picture of the pattern name or
manufacturer's signature, along with a picture of the pattern
- Photograph power tools
- If you want to take only a few pictures, either take group pictures of your
most valuable un-appraised items, or record whole rooms with your most valuable
and theft-prone items prominently displayed
- Don't forget to include the camera that you have been using as part of your
You should also remember to update your inventory when you make new purchases. This will help ensure you have enough insurance to cover a loss. Taking a photo inventory is the fastest, simplest way to make sure you
have adequate insurance coverage and to protect yourself against future losses.
simplest way to make sure you are paying the lowest rate available for your home insurance. Getting a quote is fast, safe and best of all it's FREE.